In my quest to discover the charms of Japan from a foreign perspective, from summer 2010 I began conducting interviews with buyers from local select shops, Japan representatives at local travel agencies, and media editorial departments.
In my 20s, I visited and studied in over 30 countries marketing research and report creation work for Japanese companies to enter foreign markets. To understand the business and theme trends, I directly met and exchanged views with many key people and created my own theory.
In the opinion of the commercial buyers and travel agencies, there was no need to strain to select a Japanese item. They could find no reason for dealing in newly bought products unless they had replacement value for products that were already shelved.
What would attract commercial buyers?
What should be prepared for business negotiations?
Searching for the answers, I formed my own theory and had the opportunity to work on national government support projects while planning and managing various projects.
In one project, I narrowed down nearly 2,000 products to 500 based on the criteria of finding “products that evoke a Japanese feeling,” and carried out PR work overseas for these products that represented the best of Japan. The following year, I carried out an overseas PR project focusing on traditional crafts based on the Traditional Craft Activities Act. Storybooks, my PR tools, were the result of receiving many requests from well-known brands and museums to learn the details of products. We don’t create things. I only change the communication style. Through these projects, I learned just how important the communication method is for products that aren’t just things. After that, based on my wish to provide services that solve regional issues, I visited all 47 prefectures in Japan and held countless discussions with businesses and local governments at over 180 locations to hear their issues, troubles, and hopes. While directly experiencing Japan’s regional craft products and listening to the thoughts of their creators, I felt unprecedented wonder and excitement that reverberated throughout my body. And while learning anew about Japan’s natural environment, history, and ancient wisdom, I developed gratitude and respect for serendipitously encountering regional craft products.
However, there are various issues that exist for delivering regional craft products to the market.
“I can’t meet the maker.”
“I can’t tell the story of the maker’s thoughts and dedication.”
“It’s handmade so mass production isn’t possible.”
“Temperature control for the product is difficult.”
“It has a short expiration date.”
While thinking carefully about the blessings of modern times including the internet, distribution, and human resources networks, we decided to discover the threads that directly connect regional and global markets.
“I want to deliver to the world while conveying the reason for selecting beloved regional content.”
“I want to create a structure that enables the world to enjoy Japan’s regional diversity.”
“I want to astonish the world with the techniques of Japanese artisans.”
“I want to reassess regional and artisanal value through a global perspective and restore it for regions and future generations.
While continuously improving our system through our strong dedication, JapanPage strives to provide services that help the world experience the charms of Japan’s regional craft products.